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30 June 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Construction Blues

I've been re-realizing the downside of living in the city. For the past two days, starting at the crack of dawn, there's been horrific construction going on right outside my motel. Take a look:

Bang! bang! crunch! blast! whack! whack! whack!....I've had next to no sleep and I'm cranky. Wait a minute, I have no job, what am I complaining about? Speaking of jobs, things haven't been going so well in that department. As far as I can tell, I was turned down for the hagwon job I mentioned before, if you can believe it. That was a shock. I'm not sure to laugh or cry. They gave me an excuse, but I'm pretty sure it was because I asked for more money than the bare minimum, come on! - and more than the bare minimum for rent, and at least standard vacation time...after all, he wasn't going to have to pay a recruiter or my airfare.

The boss there would rather take someone unqualified and cheaper, I assume. He may be lucky or he may be in for a shock later when he can't find anyone. Oh well, it's not a big deal and I wasn't totally sure I wanted to take it anyway as it's on the other side of the city in a rundown, lame area. I'm also not sure if I want to work in a Hagwon for a penny pinching boss again either - no matter how nice he is or how good the schedule was...my last job was like that and look how it turned out, though admittedly I had an easy year. The problem I've been having with hagwons is that they start off good, then usually go sour near the end and then I'm left with no reference again. It's not that you really need one here though. Hell, as you know if you've been following my blog for some time, I was hired at a University before based on my English Education Degree (and stunning charm) only. Still, maybe I should be more selective and try to work somewhere more reliable, somewhere where it's not all about making money for the boss.

The very next job I looked at seemed decent. I would teach at the new after school programs in public schools, around 40,000 won/hour ($35), choose how many hours I'd want to work, and full visa sponsered by the government (though how incredibly stupid that I'd still have to leave the country to the Korean embassy in Japan to pick up the visa again). Apparently the government has created these programs as an alternative to expensive hagwons. The woman in charge said since I have a degree in English Education that I am a perfect candidate. She wasn't exactly sure of all the details though and she'd get back to me. It's Wednesday now and she hasn't called or e-mailed back. I'm getting the feeling the program isn't very well organized yet. Anyway, it sounded good and I hope it pans out. If not, I guess I'll actually have to start trying a little, damn. This is my third week off. I really needed this break after a year of teaching little runts but it's time to get on the ball again before I get too comfortable.

[Update]The woman called and I'll be going to meet the principal of the school tomorrow. 9-15 hours a week at my discretion and she has private students for me in my area. Before that I was sitting here sending out my resume again. I sent it to 3 people, all about public schools, and within minutes was receiving phone calls and e-mail replies. I guess I have nothing to worry about...


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